I’ve been on the lookout for a portable java press that performs well on both road trips and camping trips for some time now. The GSI Outdoors Java Press is light enough to pack in our camping gear (and even go on ‘luxury’ backpacking trips) but still substantial enough to be worth taking on the road. Win-win!

GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press

This java press is under 11 ounces, but feels solid in your hand. It’s a two-piece system, with a nesting design that keeps everything in place when you’re stashing it away…you’re not going to lose half of it, rendering it useless, and it’s not going to break when you toss it into the car. It’s marketed as a ‘personal’ press, but since it brews two cups at a time, it works beautifully as a family press for us. We only have a few coffee drinkers in the mix.

Here’s how it’s designed: the interior nesting mug is made of polypropylene and has a specialized lid for easy sipping. The carafe uses a silicone-ringed plunger to cleanly press your coffee or tea without any leakage or mess. It also has a cute insulating sleeve. Other presses I’ve used dripped hot water on my hands as I plunged, or allowed grounds to our into my cup of coffee. I have not had either problem with the GSI. This quality is what really sets it apart from competing presses.

When I take it on road trips with the kids as the solo parent, I can easily make one cup in the hotel room, then a second cup to take on the road. The mug travels really well as a unit. When we’re camping all together, we just pour the finished coffee into camping mugs and repeat as necessary. It’s easy to clean (everything is dishwasher safe on the top rack, in our experience), or you can definitely just rinse clean between uses when camping.

Of course, the press is BPA-free and shatter resistant. The size is 20 fluid ounces, so this is not just a thimbleful of coffee or tea at a time…another problem I’ve encountered with other backpacking java presses. Admittedly, we’ve used it more for camping than backpacking, but we did bring it along on a ‘gourmet’ backpacking trip, during which we brought all the luxuries and didn’t worry about weight. It was bliss to have freshly pressed coffee in the morning (sitting in our luxury backpacking hammocks).

Pick up the Java Press for just $27 on GSI Outdoors, or find it on Amazon, REI, and Backcountry. GSI also makes a version in 50 ounce for $44 or a smaller commuter java press for $22.


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